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Note C Map

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Note C Map

  1. 1. Content Mapping NAMAHN A research note by
  2. 2. 3 Introduction The problems with content today 3 3 The end of the book metaphor 3 Poorly structured and written information fails to get the message across 3 The content silo trap 3 Too much information Why content management is an issue 4 4 We’re all in the publishing industry 4 From Content Management to a Content Management System The need for separation of content, structure and presentation 5 5 Separation of content and presentation 5 Separation of content and structure 6 Make it happen, the CM methodology About content mapping 6 The life cycle of content 6 Content creation 7 7 Content objects 8 Information typing 10 From content objects to information types to blocks 11 Topical writing or writing in content objects Organisational phase 12 12 Labeling 13 Rules of thumb for creating a controlled vocabulary or thesaurus 14 Metadata Structuring phase 15 15 From taxonomy to folksonomy 16 Grouping methods for classification 20 References
  3. 3. Introduction The problems with content today The end of the book metaphor From the beginning of the history of writing, authors have written and organised information to fit the context of a book or a document, usually with a specific audience in mind, and with a clear plan of how the information will be presented: a title page, a table of contents and an introduction at the beginning, followed by a number of chapters, and annexes and an index in the end. Today, this book metaphor has become inadequate. In environments where documentation is used in different contexts, for different purposes, and using different formats, writers often do not know how or where information will be published — as a linear sequence of pages in a paper manual, as a complex network of chunks linked through hypertext in an online help, on the intranet, or on a small-screen device. Poorly structured and written information fails to get the message across In today’s information-based economy, business documentation must be prepared rapidly, clearly, and concisely to meet high performance communication needs. The agility to quickly make fast and informed decisions is increasingly critical to success. Information that is poorly structured and written fails to get the message across. Artificial jargon and complex constructions most often are the villains. The content silo trap Many large organisations fall into the content silo trap and store the same information in multiple repositories, across multiple departments. Often the same information is created and maintained more than once, augmenting maintenance costs considerably. Too much information Today’s enterprise produces more information than ever before. This information is stored in reports, e-mails, slide shows, and spreadsheets or published on the company intranet or web site. According to the Gartner Group, unstructured information doubles every three months. Employees require consistent and predictable access to this growing corpus of knowledge to efficiently do their jobs. However, as new pieces of content are added, the ability to find applicable and pertinent information weakens. “We are drowning in information, but are starved of knowledge”. John Naisbitt, Megatrends (1982) NAMAHN Content Mapping 3
  4. 4. Why content management is an issue We’re all in the publishing industry From Content Management to a Content Up till a decade ago, few companies were in the Management System publishing industry — most provided other kinds of The larger the volume of the content being produced, goods and services. Today however, companies of all the more useful and persuasive a CMS becomes. sizes are beginning to realise that they have to create However, a CMS cannot create order where there and maintain what is in essence a constantly updated is none. Moreover a CMS is almost never a piece of publication: their corporate web site or intranet. To software that comes out-of-the-box. Rather it is a succeed, it is important to set up an editorial process platform/framework for building a custom content and to develop the right set of publishing skills. application based on an organisation’s needs. And as corporate content grows and gets more To define the architecture of a CMS and the features structured, so too should the editorial staff. Having the it has to offer, you need to figure out how corporate proper personnel into place will insure that corporate content is created, how it travels through its lifespan, content: and the uses to which it is put. And because corporate content is created, maintained and used by humans, it is mandatory to define the different interactions • is reliable, consistent, up-to-date and on-brand people have with documents. The content mapping • serves the goals of the author and organisation methodology helps your organisation: • meets the needs of the reader • To identify the processes and workflow that drive the technical requirements for your organisation’s CMS. • By providing a common language that will bridge the gap between the software engineers and the personnel in your organisation (the editors, authors, designers and managers who run the departments). Questions to address • What corporate content does our organisation own? • Where does it reside? What’s the format? Is it structured? • Which content is high value? Which is low value? • Is the content purely informational content or also transactional? • Who interacts with the content? At what stage? • What is the editing culture like? Do authors use structure- aware tools or templates? What should they use in future? • How will our corporate content be read or viewed? On paper, on screen? • How can the information be searched? By table of contents, by index, by full-text search, by keywords, by browsing hyperlinks, by other methods? Content Mapping 4
  5. 5. > INTRODUCTION The need for separation of content, structure and presentation A successful organorganistion communicates with its customers and staff efficiently across different media, ranging from paper-based brochures and manuals, to web sites, intranets and small screen devices. To succeed, it is important to set up a strategy for single- sourcing that enables the re-use and re-purposing of content. At the heart of any single-sourcing strategy, lies the job of separating the structure and layout from the content. Separation of content and presentation Separation of content and structure A separation between content and style allows the Managing structure independently from content same content to be published in different media, using objects ensures a high percentage of re-use and re- different style guidelines. To achieve this, style-control purposing of information: elements must be stored independently from the content. Style-control elements are those defining what • The same content object can appear under different the content should look like when published, including structural classifications. fonts, colors, line spacing, page format, etc. • Navigation maps can deliver customized, dynamic documentation to end-users. • Every actor in the information chain can create new structure patterns. NAMAHN Content Mapping 5
  6. 6. Make it happen, the CM methodology About content mapping The life cycle of content Content Mapping is the framework used by Namahn’s Delivering uniform and high-quality corporate information designers to combat information overload content requires investing in an infrastructure and turn unstructured information into manageable that can create and maintain correct and relevant and re-usable document-like content objects, ready for information, and make it available to the organisation’s multiple purposes. customers or service staff. A well-designed content management approach encompasses a smooth process The aim of Content Mapping is to provide for information authoring, maintaining, storing and organisations with an integrated approach that delivery, supported by the appropriate information allows increasing the degree of formality in corporate infrastructure. information, without undue investment. AUTH ORIN G docu m cont ent-like ent o STOR bject AGE s Labe li cont ng: thesa ro DELIV u gloss lled voca r us, ATE ERY bular ar y, E CR lexic on, s y, Clas ynon si navig fications yms ,... : a grou tion map ping s, m taxon omie ethods, s, on tolog ies,.. . ISE N GA OR about about about about about about about E UR about about T about UC about about R ST about about meta d targe ata: title ,k t form audience eywords at, s ize, v , author, , langu ers a work ge, expe ion, r tise flow, , ... Content Mapping 6
  7. 7. > MAKE IT HAPPEN, THE CM-METHODOLOGY Content creation Content objects Top-down versus bottom-up What is a content object? Traditionally, the most common approach among A content object is a manageable chunk of information writers is to write top-level topics first, followed by the organised around a topic (a product, a process, a subordinate topics that go under them. We call this function, a theme, ...). It’s a standalone unit that can method, based on a pre-defined outline, a top-down be re-used differently depending on the audience, approach. Today however, information often has to purpose, or delivery method. Typically, it is a title be created independently of a particular context. This followed by text and images, divided into sections by a implies that subordinate topics have to be generated number of headings. first and then later grouped into a larger structure. We will call this a bottom-up strategy. Granularity: what’s the size of a content object? A bottom-up strategy gives the writer more flexibility, The size or structure of a content object depends on its but is not easy to carry out: every chunk of information granularity or level of detail. Content objects can be is always created within a particular context. A bottom- assembled at different levels of granularity: up approach however, implies that information has to be created independently of the structure it was • Finely grained content object at the lowest level: e.g. originally intended for. This obvious contradiction a procedure describing how to perform a change between the need for content to be reusable and the request, an FAQ on a new product, a company need for content to depend on its context cannot be policy … eliminated. The trade-off that appears to offer the most • Coarsely grained content objects at higher levels: a favorable balance between re-usability and context- 30 page manual, a database with 2.000 customer dependence is captured in the notion of the content records, a division of the intranet, an online object. tutorial … NAMAHN Content Mapping 7
  8. 8. Blurbs, as short previews of content objects A blurb is a tight descriptive introduction to a content object. It is a line or short block of text that informs the reader what kind of information he will find in a content object. Information typing Though not easy to write, blurbs prove to be very An information type specifies the purpose of (parts of) beneficial for users when interacting with content. a content object by describing its purpose, independent Dennis G. Jerz, in his weblog on new media of how that object will be delivered. Some common journalism, defines blurbs as “brief summaries of what information types are procedures, topics, facts, terms, a reader will find on the other end of a hyperlink. Good definitions, prices, product numbers and descriptions. blurbs don’t harangue (“Click here!”) or tease (“Learn ten great tips.”); instead, they provide a useful sample When you begin to analyse your corporate content of the target page, so that a user can make an informed and future requirements, think about your content decision about whether to click.” 1 according to its information type rather than its format. You will soon discover that many information types can be re-used. Your product description should be the same, regardless of where it is published. 1 Blurbs, Writing Previews of Web Pages http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/e-text/blurbs.htm Content Mapping 8
  9. 9. > MAKE IT HAPPEN, THE CM-METHODOLOGY Best practices in information typing Some well-known projects using the concept of information types are: • Information Mapping™, a method to create and CONTENT OBJECT present information, has defined seven information TOPIC: product, types that should be able to cover all sorts of cor- process, function, porate information: procedure, process, structure, policy, ... concept, principle, fact, classification.1 • The Darwin Information Typing Architecture CONCEPT REFERENCE TASK (DITA), an innovative XML-based information architecture, has defined a basic set of three core DEFINITION FACTS, HOW TO DO information types: DESCRIPTION DATA, SOMETHING NUMBERS ¬ Concept An extended definition (description) of a topic. Typi- cally a concept contains a title, some text, and maybe DEFINE OVERVIEW PERFORM an example or a graphic. ¬ Task (or procedure, instruction) A number of steps, describing how to do something. This information type refers historically to the task- based manual. ¬ Reference Consider the introduction of a new product: the three core information types could be used to create An overview of the constituent parts (characteristics) a content object ‘Product manual’. The order of the of a product, an organisation, an application, ... A information types in the product manual could be as reference contains mostly data-oriented (rather than illustrated in the figure above: text-oriented) information that is often stored in a database (numbers, addresses, codes…). A reference • First a full description of the new product; refers historically to the reference manual. • followed by an overview of all its characteristics and functionalities; The set is not only easy to understand (and explain); it • finally, all the tasks that can be performed with the can also be extended, according to the specific needs product. of an organisation. A new info type ‘company policy’ for instance can easily be mapped on the existing info type ‘concept’. DITA has defined a set of inheritance rules, that define how new information types can be created: “each specialised information type must map More info on Information Mapping™ 1 www.infomap.com to an existing one, must have the characteristics of its parent information type, and must be more restrictive 2 More info on “The Darwin Information Typing Architecture” http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-dita4/ in the content that it allows. ” 2 NAMAHN Content Mapping 9
  10. 10. From content objects to information types to blocks Blocks are situated at the lowest level of the information CONCEPT REFERENCE TASK FAQ POLICY infrastructure. They are the most flexible, modular part title item title question rule of the whole, enabling us to specify information types definition description prerequisite answer note in further detail. note step 1 tip warning example step 2 step 3 step 4 prerequisite What is a block? A block is the most finely grained component of CONTENT OBJECT1 content that requires individual treatment. It is at most one page in size and can contain paragraphs of text, INFOTYPE 1 INFOTYPE 2 INFOTYPE 3 ... data, formulas and figures. Different kinds of blocks can be specified for specific purposes: title, intro, block 1 block 1 block 1 ... definition, step, result, tip, warning, rule, etc. block 2 block 2 block 2 ... block 3 block 3 block 3 ... We distinguish two kinds of blocks: block 4 block 4 block 4 ... block ... block ... block ... ... ¬ Key blocks: Key blocks determine a particular information type. They can be mandatory or optional: e.g. step and result are mandatory key blocks in a procedure, ques- tion and answer in an FAQ. ¬ Additional blocks: Additional blocks are not linked or essential to a particular information type: e.g. all information types can contain a tip, a warning … Additional blocks are optional. Content Mapping 10
  11. 11. > MAKE IT HAPPEN, THE CM-METHODOLOGY Best practices: a tribute to Robert Horn Modularity of the information architecture Robert Horn is generally known as the man who Content objects, information types and blocks can all revolutionised technical writing by kicking out be managed as components: the paragraph and replacing it by the block. In his landmark Structured Writing approach, he states that • It is possible to add or remove blocks in information the paragraph is too fuzzily defined, too vague to be types, as it is possible to add or remove information a consistent, reliable unit of information. According types in content objects. to Horn “Information blocks are the basic units of • New information types or content objects can subject matter [...] They replace the paragraph as the be defined when the existing ones do not comply fundamental unit of analysis and of presentation. They anymore. are composed of one or more sentences and/or diagrams about a limited topic. They usually have not more than Topical writing or writing in content nine sentences. They are always identified clearly by a objects label.” Topical writing is bottom-up writing. This means authors have to start writing content objects often without having a larger context or pre-defined structure Creating information types with blocks (such as a table of contents). Moreover content objects can be published on the web as well as on paper. Is writing for the web any different from writing for print? If you are lacking experience or feel unsure, then the option is to continue to write documents as usual and to have a separate process for evaluating the extent to which those documents can be broken down into reusable content objects. If you have ever written an online help, or are skilled in structured writing, then topical writing should be the option. 1 “Structured Writing at twenty five” by Robert E. Horn http://www.stanford.edu/~rhorn/ Rules of thumb for topical writing • A topic has one subject, signified by the title. • Wording in topics is independent of any other topic. Each • At its lowest level, a topic is small enough to be assimilated topic is a standalone unit. by the reader in one go. • Make extensive use of meaningful subtitles. They are • Generally that’s no more than a screen or two of info, important for search engines and scannability. online. Traditionally, it is content under heading 3 or • Make use of ordered lists. heading 4. NAMAHN Content Mapping 11
  12. 12. Organisational phase Labeling Labels are the actual words you use to define categories When dealing with transactional content, labels for your content objects. They are what the user sees should include calls to action. Labels like “Subscribe to when he looks at a website’s main menu or sitemap. newsletter”, “Download PDF” or “Register” can be very Choosing labels with care is equally as important as effective in guiding the visitor. how you chunk and structure your content in the first place. Good labels always take the visitor through a progression of approach to the business involved. Do it well and you help users finding the information they are looking for — even if there are actually great complexities being communicated. Rules of thumb for labeling • Labels should be clear, contrastive and distinct from others. • Try to keep labels short, but don’t be afraid to make them longer for clarity. • Do not use jargon, industry standards or the company’s organisation chart. • Avoid buzzwords or fuzzy terms. • Two is sometimes more than one. A common technique that lets you be more descriptive while keeping the labels short is the use of two-word labels: hotels & travel, research & development, kids & family. • Use the same labels as the target audiences use. Speak the language of the user. • Try to tell a story. • When you go international, make sure the labels are not tied to a specific language and can easily be translated. Content Mapping 12
  13. 13. > MAKE IT HAPPEN, THE CM-METHODOLOGY Rules of thumb for creating a controlled vocabulary or thesaurus Closely related to labels and labeling systems are be easily understood and affords control over the corporate thesauri and controlled vocabularies. information environment. A thesaurus is a collection of preferred terms, used to A thesaurus can (partly or completely) act as a assist in a more precise retrieval of content. A thesaurus controlled vocabulary, providing terminology for reveals hierarchical (parent-child), associative (related) populating values in metadata schemes, systems, and equivalent (synonyms, variants) relationships navigation maps, classifications, and taxonomies/ among terms. Deployed within an organisation, ontologies. a thesaurus fosters communication and shared understanding throughout the enterprise, allowing everyone to describe information in a way that can Rules of thumb for creating a controlled vocabulary or thesaurus Creating and maintaining a good company thesaurus is challenging. Below are some considerations and guidelines. • Identify who will be using the thesaurus and how. • Gather input from all business units. • File structures, department structures, filing systems, databases, and other legacy organisational schemes can provide valuable input for the terminology definition process. • In order to be effective, the terminology in a thesaurus must be scoped by the user community and its language. • Define preferred terms. • Identify synonyms. • Identify abbreviations and acronyms. • Identify broad and narrow terms (hierarchical and associative relationships). • To reach all the users and reflect all the content, you may need to develop multiple types of vocabularies. Examples include vocabularies organised by user role, topic, task, or geography. NAMAHN Content Mapping 13
  14. 14. Metadata Metadata is generally defined as ‘data about data’, The distinction between data and metadata is not and refers to any data used to support the dimensions absolute; in some circumstances data can be metadata, of use of a content object. The term is not new. As and plain data in other circumstances. To identify long as people have been collecting information – be metadata involves analysing the structure of the it in a library, a museum, or any other institution content, and exploring the workflow applied to create – they had to get hold of ways to properly organise and maintain the content. Some things to keep in that information. The catalog that originated in the mind: traditional library world – with commonly known fields as “Author”, “Title” and “Subject” – is the • Metadata are hard to maintain, so they should be classical example of metadata. kept to an absolute minimal. On the other hand, a limited set of carefully developed metadata can Today metadata serve, sometimes simultaneously, serve as a fundamental resource for knowledge several functions: management within the enterprise. • Most metadata will be identified during the • Semantic analysis (title, subject, keywords, content publishing process of a content object. Pay a lot of rating, …) attention to meaningful titles and subtitles, provide • Workflow analysis (author, reviewer, versioning, well-chosen categories, and make use of keywords. property rights, …) • Access and publishing (filename, size, extension, creation date, …) MET AD abou ATA t ... Content Mapping 14
  15. 15. Kno w base ledge Busi n Proc ess > MAKE IT HAPPEN, THE CM-METHODOLOGY esse s Thes auru s Clas sific atio n Tabl e of co n tent s Structuring phase Classification deals with the process of bringing together content objects according to a grouping method or navigational model. The traditional approach for classifying content objects is to place them in an authoritative, hierarchical tree structure such as those used in scientific classification schemes. Today such closed classification schemes are commonly used in book publication, databases and knowledge management systems. Bus Kno Clas Tabl The in wled saur e sific ess of c ge b us proc atio onte ase n esse nts s Assu Auth Introd ra or Assu nce Aval ité pare Chap uction >p ra ntal ter 1: Assu nce do rodu Avan e 0. The Cust 0. ranc mm cts ce su rule Assu e pers ages 01.0 Avan Mon r po s om 1 >s ce Avan ment lice 01.0 About on serv er de ra Assu nce Vi nes Corsa o erv th ices 2 d' ta 01.0 Safety e CSP e ra Avan ge mat hoirie ic Assu nce sant es ...... E.G.W in 3 (v t-co ri 01.0 Specifi structio ...... Tran ntra monia oir libér ra Assu nce in é/prévoy . sp 2 Con catio l ns t (en Produ ort alité ns... .... di ra Assu nce m viduelle ance imm vent ) > fi ... H.K.I ction ions obili Imm ...... ...... obili rance aladie Chap acci er) nan 0.1. ter 2: ...... de Res er hosp co Met ilatiè mplem nt cia ... ourc Expl er l ing es H orat Invo enta re 02.0 >p umai ion ic ire 1 Rep e 02.0 Getting nes ers 0.2. or 2 Filte o Paym on... Doc t nne 02.0 ... 3 W ring....... ......... en l Holid ts umen hat's ... Wag ays ... ts in th ......... Chap 0.3. ... e fo es ter 3: Invo lders. icing Going 02.0 Furt 1 her 02.0 Where 0.4. ab 2 Plan 02.0 Proces outs...... ning sing 3 Lo ...... ... catio . ns... ............ ...... ...... .. .... From taxonomy to folksonomy A new and promising approach to classification is a folksonomy or social classification: rather than fit the content into a pre-defined closed taxonomy, put the users in charge and let them create their own classification system through tagging. Creating such a social environment enables more nuanced ways to map meaning and relationship. Another advantage is that, since the information within folksonomies is organised and maintained by users, very little work has to be done to maintain the tagging system after initially setting it up. Despite these advantages, folksonomies are not a proven technology yet. User Interface Engineering, a leading research, training, and consulting firm specialising in web site and product usability concludes: “At this point, folksonomies are more of an interesting technology than a tried-and-true design tool. However, with their ability to let users do most of the organisational work of the information on a web site, they may yet prove to be a valuable, time-saving way for information architects to keep a handle on the addition of information into an already-burdened architecture. We’re anxious to see where they go.” 2 2 http://www.uie.com/articles/folksonomies/ NAMAHN Content Mapping 15
  16. 16. Grouping methods for classification Basically there are four ways to group content objects: • Hierarchy • Linear • Matrix • Hypertext Linear Hierarchy Users are forced to follow a linear path. A wizard uses this model. This model is useful for training and first A tree-structure is a top-down structure where you start time users. with a number of broad categories that get ever more detailed, until you arrive at the information needed. It is a well-known structure for classifying information. People have organised information into hierarchies since the beginning of time. Think of a family tree, a table of contents, a folder structure, …. For this reason, trees are the foundation of any information design. They allow us to get a grip on a large body of information, and to identify major content areas. Hierarchical tree-structures, however, have a major drawback too: by showing only a restricted set of dimensions at the same time, they suffer from an inflexible top-down approach, forcing users to follow a predetermined, often unfamiliar path. Therefore it is important to complement tree-structures with other organisation schemes, providing alternative points of entry, allowing users to cross-walk the tree. Content Mapping 16
  17. 17. > MAKE IT HAPPEN, THE CM-METHODOLOGY Hypertext Matrix Hypertext is the non-linear way of structuring information by providing (inline) links to other content A tree may be the most common navigation model objects. Its main advantages: today, a matrix however, also often referred to as a faceted taxonomy/classification, is quickly gaining • It provides us with great flexibility. importance. This is primarily for two reasons: • It thrives on serendipity — the accidental discovery of things. • A matrix is a bottom-up information structure that When navigating through hypertext tough, it is easy to shows all dimensions/facets of a topic simultane- get lost and become frustrated. In addition, hypertext ously. A tree only shows a few at the same time. links are personal in nature — relationships clear to • A matrix allows for cross-navigation, giving the one person may not be obvious to others. Because of user more than one way of exploring the content. this great potential for complexity and user confusion, Dimensions can be organised on-the-fly, based on hypertext should be used to complement structures how a user chooses to access them. based upon a hierarchical or matrix model. Rules of thumb for classifying information: • Categories in a taxonomy are unambiguous and mutually exclusive - it’s ‘or’, not ‘and’ (e.g. a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, not both). • A taxonomy includes all possibilities. • Consider the balance between breadth and depth. Breadth refers to the number of (horizontal) options at each level of the tree. Depth refers to the number of (vertical) levels in the hierarchy. New trees that are expected to grow, tend towards a horizontal rather than vertical, deep hierarchy. • In considering breadth, be sensitive to the cognitive limits of the human mind and try to follow the seven plus-or-minus-two rule. • A good taxonomy is restricted to the top-levels. Lower level content can be retrieved by keyword or full text search. NAMAHN Content Mapping 17
  18. 18. Mental model – organisation scheme Content inventory 1 One of the most common problems with organisation The most effective way to get a grip on the quantity and schemes for content objects is that they reflect the quality of content is to conduct a content inventory. company’s organisational structure. Few users though Content inventories identify all the proposed content think in terms of organisational structure when within a system — where the content currently resides, trying to find information. Therefore, a well-balanced who owns it, and any existing relationships between information architecture always combines a business content. Content inventories are also commonly used context with a content inventory and an understanding to aid the process of migrating content between the old of how users view the world. and new systems. How do users think about the content? es USERS BUSINESS vic An effective information architecture reflects the way ser ts & duc s people think about the subject matter. It is therefore processe proture important to group the content into an organisation ls cul skil ds nee s ... scheme that is well-understood by the user. role ... CONTENT Some common organisation schemes are: e um vol at • Topical orm ture fc str u • Task-oriented ... • Product-oriented • Audience-oriented IA Practice Model © 2001 Lou Rosenfeld • Chronological • Hybrid Information to capture in a content inventory • Title: the title of the content object. • Information Type: the purpose of the content object or the template used. • Keywords: what is the content about? • Target audience: whom is the content object intended for? • Format: HTML-page/Word/PDF and links. • Owner/maintainer: the department or person responsible for the content object. • Status: content can be up to date, obsolete or outdated. • General Notes: additional information on the content object. 1 More info on doing a content inventory: http://www.adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/archives/000040.php Content Mapping 18
  19. 19. > MAKE IT HAPPEN, THE CM-METHODOLOGY Techniques for getting the user involved Surface architecture versus deep architecture To determine which organisation scheme to use, try to • The users’ mental model (the way users think) peek into the mind of the user and identify his goals yields the high level or surface structure of a tax- and tasks. Your understanding of the user will help you onomy. select or combine the best organisation schemes. Some • The content forms the deep structure of the tax- well-known techniques for getting the user involved onomy. Here the information the user came for is are: stored. • Card sorting Card sorting involves representative users sorting a series of cards, each labeled with a piece of content or functionality, into groups that make sense to them. Card sorting generates ideas for how information could be grouped and labeled. 1 • Card-based classification evaluation Card-based classification evaluation is a technique for testing an information architecture before it has been implemented. The technique involves writing each level of an information architecture on a large card, and developing a set of information-seeking tasks for people to perform using the architecture. 2 What’s in a name? • Taxonomy: a hierarchical tree-structure used to store and publish content objects. • Faceted classification: a non-hierarchical matrix- 1 More info: “Card Sorting: A definitve Guide” at http://www.boxesandarrows.com based structure, consisting of multiple tree taxono- mies used together. 2 More info: “Card-Based Classification Evaluation” at http://www.boxesandarrows.com • Ontology: a more complex organisation scheme that relates content objects to one another by using statements such as “X is a Y”, “X is part of Y”. • Topic maps: an XML-based technical environment that allows to build ontologies. NAMAHN Content Mapping 19
  20. 20. References • “Structured Writing at twenty five” by Robert E. Horn http://www.stanford.edu/~rhorn/ • “The Darwin Information Typing Architecture” http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-dita4/ • Argus Centre For Information Architecture: http://argus-acia.com/ • AdaptivePath essays http://www.adaptivepath.com/publications/reports/ • “Information Architecture for the World Wide Web” by Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville • “Information Architecture, Blueprints for the Web” by Christina Wodtke • “Information Architecture for Designers” by Peter Van Dijck Content Mapping 20
  21. 21. NAMAHN 2006 - v.060124 Grensstraat/Rue de la Limite 21 B-1210 Brussels Phone +32 2 209 08 85 Fax +32 2 219 48 88 Mail info@namahn.com Web www.namahn.com

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